Texas Child Protection Law Bench Book

2023 version: As effective November 1, 2023

G. Burden of Proof

The burden of proof for a punitive contempt order must be based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt.[46] There is a division of authority on the burden of proof required in cases addressing civil or coercive contempt. Tex. Fam. Code ยง 105.005 provides for a preponderance of the evidence standard, cited in In re Smith, 981 S.W.2d, 909, 911 (Tex. App-- Houston [1st Dist.] 1988, no writ). However, the 5th Circuit has said that the movant bears the burden of establishing the elements of contempt by clear and convincing evidence in a civil contempt proceeding[47] and the Southern District of Texas has held the standard to be clear and convincing for civil contempt as well.[48]